IDV Development Status Report
March 1, 2004
This report updates the status of Unidata's IDV development
efforts since the last report
During the 1998-2003 Unidata proposal period, the MetApps project goals
- Deliver turn-key platform-independent applications for the
analysis and visualization of meteorological data. These
applications must provide and extend the most important capabilities
of currently-available applications such as GEMPAK, GARP, and
McIDAS. Use of these applications should require no knowledge
of Java or component architectures.
- Deliver easily installed executables, user documentation, and
test cases for the turn-key applications.
- Identify or create a component-oriented framework that supports
construction of custom applications from components used to
build the turn-key applications. This framework should be
useful to create new combinations of components that provide
subsets of the capabilities of the turn-key applications,
connect them in unanticipated ways, or provide tailored
mini-applications for embedding in educational materials. Use
of these components may require knowledge of component
architectures or Java.
- Deliver full source code, class documentation, and test cases
for the MetApps components.
- Enlist other developers in enhancing components and developing
new components for the framework by providing an
archive, mailing list, developers' forums, documentation, web
site, and support for the components.
The Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) was released in June 2003 and is the culmination
of this effort. The IDV reference application embodies goals #1 and #2 listed
above. The IDV framework supports the development of custom applications as
specified in #3 such as the specialized IDV based visualization tool in the
Visual Geophysical Exploration Environment (VGEE). Source code, documentation
and example applications are provided with the IDV release. Other developers
are starting to provide enhancements to the IDV framework (VGEE and EPA) and
many of the items in #5 are already in place. The UPC is currently investigating
ways to make it easier for developers to contribute to all software projects
and the IDV development will benefit from such a system.
We feel that we have met the goals of the MetApps project in
the timeframe specified and are now moving on to the next phase of IDV
Unidata 2008 proposal, IDV development will continue under
the proposed Endeavor 4 "Software to Analyze and Visualize Geoscience
Data". Under this endeavor, the following goals are outlined:
- Supporting analysis and visualization of local modeling efforts
(e.g., WRF and MM5 output)
- Incorporating new datasets and data types
- Exploring new approaches to visualizing and interacting with Earth
system data, focusing on novel 3-D techniques that fuse data from
- Expanding IDV capabilities to support the creation of exploration
based, interactive, pedagogic materials and integration with digital
- Developing collaborative tools to make effective use of shared
- Developing a framework that allows end-user assembly and
integration of IDV components
- Adapting to GIS frameworks (OpenGIS and ISO standards),
content-based data mining, and other evolving technologies
Progress since last report
- In November 2003, a new release (1.1 beta 2) was made available
to the Unidata community. The IDV can be downloaded at
Features added after the 1.0 release in June:
- new displays of Level II radar data including data probes, isosurface,
pseudo RHIs, 3D sweeps, volume displays
- collaboration facility to share state among geographically
separated IDV users.
- Data transect control for display of values along a transect
- Support for USGS and ArcInfo ASCIIGRID DEM datasets.
- Improved Omni control that allows display of
- various and sundry bug fixes.
- The first IDV training workshop was held November
3-4, and was attended by 15 participants from a variety of academic
institutions, organizations and countries. All training materials
are available online:
During preparation of the workshop materials, Jeff McWhirter developed
a framework for providing a common look and feel for all workshop
materials. This framework was used in the LDM workshop and is being
considered for the next McIDAS workshop.
- The IDV is one of the visualization tools being considered for
the LEAD project.
- Tom Whittaker has replaced Charlie Murphy as the chair of the
IDV Steering Committee. The goals of the committee are:
- prioritize the development efforts based
on the perceived needs of the Unidata community and other interested
parties and input from the IDV developers on feasibility and cost.
- Considers and recommends large focused development efforts in
the range of 3-6 months. These would include:
- types of data to support
- new types of displays to implement
- new means of use (publishing, collaboration)
- organizational collaborations
- educational content
- test implementations and provide feedback. Releases to the
committee will occur on a 1-2 month time frame.
This group will report to the Unidata User's Committee as the MetApps
Task Force that proceeded it.
To date, the following members have accepted the invitation
to be on the committee:
- Tom Whittaker (University of Wisconsin - Madison) - Chair
- Charlie Murphy (Kean University)
- Bill Fingerhut (Lyndon State College)
- Chris Herbster (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University)
- Dan Bramer (University of Illinois)
- Tony Rockwood (Metropolitan State College of Denver)
- Alex DeCaria (Millersville University)
A preliminary meeting between Tom and the IDV developers was
held at the AMS meeting in Seattle to plot a strategy for
how steering committee interactions could take place and
when the first meeting will be. We decided to use a variety of
web based tools and collaboration features of the IDV for the
interaction. The first meeting will be a teleconference sometime
in April. Tom has contacted each of the committee members to
give them a heads up on the startup of the committee tasks and
the impending release of IDV 1.1 beta 3.
- Stu Wier left Unidata on January 2. The IDV development group
now consists of Don Murray and Jeff McWhirter. No decision has
been made on whether Stu's position will remain as an IDV developer
position. Don and Jeff have split Stu's responsibilities for the
- Presentations on the IDV capabilities have been made at the
- Don Murray presented a talk on the IDV at the AAG East
Lakes/West Lakes Regional meeting in Kalamazoo, MI (October
- The following IDV related posters/presentations were
made at the AMS meeting in Seattle, January 11-16, 2004:
- Don Murray will present a paper on IDV at the AAG Annual meeting
in Philadelphia on April 17, 2004
Testing of IDV 1.1 beta3 is currently underway and this version
will be released on March 9, 2004. New features include:
- Continued enhancement of displays of Level II Archive Format
in the IDV. Features may include:
- Arbitrary cross sections
- Time/Height displays
- Better performance
- Initial support for reading GeoTIFF data files.
- Preliminary Web Mapping Service (WMS) interface
- Beta version of in-display color bars
- Enhancement of derived quantities and formulas portion of IDV.
- Performance improvements
- General User Interface tightening
- Updated user and developer documentation
Ongoing efforts include:
- Collaborating in the development of
- Keeping up with new Java interfaces and developments
- Various and sundry IDV bug fixes and enhancements.
This document is maintained by
Don Murray <firstname.lastname@example.org>